Friday, October 22, 2010

Wifi-less in Salt Lake City

Well, not really, if I want to pay for it.  Rather than invest $12.95 for one day at the hotel, or even worse, 49 cents a minute in the hotel business center, I decided to forgo blogging last night at the hotel when I returned from the Blogger Day at FamilySearch.  I figured "I'll read my email, read my blogs and post something on Friday morning at the Family History Library."  So that's where I am, bright and early at 8 a.m. and now it's 9 a.m. after grabbing a Danish for breakfast, reading my email and blogs, and now what should I post about?

Ah, the last two days!

I flew from San Diego to Salt Lake City on Wednesday, arriving at 1 p.m. and in the Marriott Hotel by 1:45.  After unloading my stuff in the room, it was off to the Family History Library about one block away.  In my hurry, I forgot my flash drives were in the other case - no problem - I'll do the things I want to do in the books.  I found a good Lewis book that provided significant family history information about the John Lewis of Westerly RI line that ended up in Staten Island, New york.  It even mentioned Katherine Lewis, daughter of Jonathan and Marie (LaTourette) Lewis, but did not list a husband for her.  Is she the Catherine Lewis that married William Hutchinson in New Brunswick?  I don't know...but if she is, then I have some useful Lewis family history information.

I walked over to the Plaza Hotel at 5:30 p.m. and sat in the lobby until James Tanner, author of the Genealogy's Star blog, came in and we walked to the Joseph Smith Building for dinner at the Nauvoo Cafe on the first floor.  We enjoyed our carved sandwiches and boysenberry pie, and shared about our lives and interests.  When genea-bloggers meet, we seem to eat and talk and the time flies!  After dinner, we walked through Temple Square, and James gave me a guided tour of several of the buildings and then we visited the FamilySearch Center in the Joseph Smith Building.  It would be really cool to work in this building - a FamilySearch Center in the basement!

The Bloggers Day at FamilySearch was on Thursday, starting with breakfast at 7:30 a.m. We met in the Joseph Smith Building and were in the FamilySearch offices there.  After a buffet breakfast, the 9-hour program started promptly at 8 a.m. with a welcome from Paul Nauta, introductions by Shipley Munson and a briefing by FamilySearch President Jay Verkler.  Then a number of FamilySearch product managers described their work until 5 p.m.  We broke for lunch at 12 noon and enjoyed food from the Garden Restaurant in the building. 

The Blogger Day agenda was listed here.

I tweeted on throughout the day, and you can see all tweets by myself, Thomas MacEntee, Kimberly Powell and DearMYRTLE by using the hashtag #FSBlogDay on Twitter.  Other bloggers in attendance have written posts about their experiences and learning - you can see them all on Geneabloggers in Latest News from the Family Search Bloggers Day.  Diane Haddad has written a summary on The Genealogy Insider blog, and James Tanner blogged continuously during the event on Genealogy's Star blog.  I may collect my Twitter notes after I return home and psot them - my guess is that I had over 200 tweets in 9 hours!

I stayed in the room and chatted with Paul Nauta and Jim Ericson for awhile, and read some of my email before we left for the 6 p.m. dinner hosted by FamilySearch in The Roof Restaurant at the top of the Joseph Smith Building.  I enjoyed the conversation at the table with Paul Nauta, Ann Harrison, and The Ancestry Insider.  After dinner, I wandered back to the hotel pretty much spent and watched the end of the baseball game.

I asked several of the questions submitted by email from my readers, and will respond with emails to the senders when I return home on Saturday.  I will also write blog posts abut some of them for everybody's edification.

Needless to say, Thursday was enlightening and fun.  I especially enjoyed meeting more of the FamilySearch personnel, and hearing about their product status, future plans, and visions for FamilySearch.  It is very much a work in progress. 

So, here I am at the Family History Library ready to go read some microfilms about the Whittle/Morley folks in England.  Wish me luck!

Disclosure: FamilySearch paid for my airfare, hotel lodging and incidental expenses in order for me to attend this event.  I appreciate their generosity and outreach.  I have tried, and will continue to try, to be objective in my writings about FamilySearch products.

1 comment:

Miriam Robbins said...

I descend twice from that LEWIS line from Westerly, Randy, so if you finally prove you do as well, it means we are cousins, yet again! :-)